As a beauty writer, lover and blogger, I am always open to new ideas and beauty experiences……….and I love beauty shopping! I also love to see what all the glossies come up with annually when they run their own beauty awards (In Style, Harper’s Bazaar and Sunday Times Style being some of my favourites), but every year there is always a huge buzz around the Debenhams Beauty Club Awards. In terms of beauty shopping, Debenhams has a great mix: not only can you stock up on a huge array of brands, but you can also subscribe to their Beauty Club Rewards Card, where your points soon add up, and you can treat yourself to something fabulous! They are also brilliant at new launches and embracing emerging brands, and through their social media they run some great giveaways and invite fans to be part of VIP beauty panels in order to review products. I got to review some amazing skincare once, and I would happily do so again. Shopping beauty at Debenhams means that you can choose from a wide range of brands, from staff who are both approachable and brimming with knowledge.
So this year you can have your say and vote in the Debenhams Beauty Club Awards 2014. Why are they so important? Whilst I do love to know what all the experts and beauty editors are raving about, I do love to know what my fellow beauty lovers are enjoying using, and what they rate! British women are becoming more adventurous when it comes to all things beauty, and they do love being trend-aware, but they also like to look great at the same time. As I am from Liverpool, we have one of the highest beauty-spends per capita in the UK, so I know lots of the locals will be voting. There are 31 categories in all, covering every aspect of beauty, from make-up to fragrances to self-tan, and once you have voted, you have the chance to be one of FIVE winners who win all 31 products they have voted for. So obviously you are going to weigh in your favourites. I always look forward to seeing the results every year, and if something pops up as a winner that I have never considered, I will definitely go and try it out.
Which brings me to……….Illamasqua! I first came across the brand personally three years ago, just after they had opened their stand-alone store in Met Quarter, Liverpoolt have been more wrong. I was welcomed by a lovely team, who found my nail polish and I have been an avid fan ever since.
As an independent British brand, Illamasqua has built a powerful brand and its inspiring, theatrical, all-inclusive approach to beauty has moved beauty fans to get involved and try out new looks. Even though I still love a classic look, I have tried out their lashes and speckled nail varnishes and huge range of eye shades, to name but a few. What impresses me most about the brand, which has a professional edge but wants everyone to have make-up artistry skills to be proud of, is that the products are of such high quality. As someone who sees beauty buys as an investment, I want products that not only blend well but also perform. There is nothing worse than buying a trend-led nail polish that chips within a day. I also love the fact that the brand is all about creativity and empowerment: you can tune in to their tutorials to see how to use their products, and I do love a great beauty lesson.
When I went to vote for my favourites for the Debenhams Beauty Club Awards 2014 I was so pleased to see Illamasqua nominated in five categories, which is a huge testament to how well thought-of the range is. So here are the famous five…….and they all got my vote!
For Best Primer I voted for Illamsqua Matt Primer
I have to admit that I had never tried a primer until I used one by Illamasqua. However, if you want your foundation to stay on and look fantastic until you take it off, a primer is a must. I have combination skin, which means I love the matt, shine-free finish that this product provides. It also has a UVA/UVB filter and for anyone who has ever heard me waxing lyrical about skin protection, this is a desirable extra. A little goes a long way. An absolute must for anyone seeking complexion perfection!
For Best Concealer I voted for Illamasqua Skin Base Lift
I have done battle with many a concealer over the eyes, and lost on most occasions. They either go cakey or rub off, and I have always found ones that come in a pen to be a bit more hype than helpful. So this little beauty is a belter! It comes in a great range of shades, and really gives great under-eye coverage. It smooths on easily, and I would be lost without it.
For Best Eye Palette I voted for Illamasqua 4 Colour Palette
There is a huge range to choose from with these fab eye palettes, and you can really walk on the wild shade with some of the shades, but my favourite at the moment is the Generation Q Empower Palette, as it allows you to create a smoky eye and get ready for Spring/Summer. This one includes Blink (a neutral matt), Synth (an on-trend pale pink shimmer), Fervent (a blue/brown/green shimmer) and Slick (an anthracite metal shimmer), and so it is a great buy, with every shade earning its space. The pale pink is great for creating the news season’s single colour wash on the lids, so I am glad this one is already in my kit!
For Best Brows I voted for Illamasqua Brow Cake
I would just like to say that I do like a defined, slightly arched brow. I leave the Cara D look to my niece, but a good brow frames the face, and done properly, can really make a difference to how you look. I choose to rock a shade that matches my brow and skin tone exactly, but if you are bit more adventurous that you can dial or up down. New York Fashion Week last week was all about a ligher, golden brow, and I know the real beauty fanatics will be trying it out.
For Best Nails I voted for Illamasqua Nail Varnish
I used to be devoted to a certain French brand, but when I first bought that yellow nail varnish I was hooked. Nails are a brilliant way to play with beauty and Illamasqua has such an amazing range. I love both the speckled and brights, and the main range is just packed full of shades that glide on and stay on. I have to just say here that the base coat and top coat products are really great, and work in conjunction with the nail varnish. If you have never tried the brand before this is a great place to start.
To vote in the Debenhams Beauty Club Awards 2014 go to: http://awards.debenhamscompetitions.com/
To view the Illamasqua range at Debenhams go to: http://www.debenhams.com
To find out more about the brand go to: http://www.illamasqua.com
For my beauty interview with Illamasqua go to: www.illamasqua.com/socialise/